2016 13" MacBook Pro [6th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X Chroma) + macOS 10.15.1 & Win10 1903
UPDATED 10/28/19 after tweaking the build based on comments below and finishing up the Windows install
- Late 2016 13” TouchBar MacBook Pro - i7 3.3GHz
- Intel Iris Graphics 550 1536 MB
- 16GB Ram
- 1 TB SSD
- Catalina 10.15.1 public beta 2
- LG UltraGear 34GK950F-B 34" WQHD 3440 x 1440 (2K) 5ms (GTG at Faster), 1ms MBR 144 Hz HDMI, DisplayPort Radeon Freesync 2 Curved 21:9 UltraWide QHD 4-Side Borderless VESA HDR 400 144Hz FreeSync2 Monitor
- Razer Core X Chroma
- PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 5700 XT
- Included Thunderbolt 3 cable
- (Attached via USB) Logitech G405 wireless mouse
- (Attached via USB) Logitech G613 wireless keyboard
- (Attached via USB) Plantronics headset
- (Attached via USB) Razer Nommo Chroma 2.0 speakers
- (Attached via DisplayPort) LG 34GK950F-B 34" monitor
- No special steps for macOS, just plug-n-play.
- Original performance/benchmarking results were lower than expected, but an additional restart in macOS "magically" fixed that
- Installed latest Windows 10 Pro version 1903 via Boot Camp Assistant in macOS
- Created eGPU EFI USB stick using the automate-eGPU EFI v1.0.5 installer in macOS and inserted into MacBook via USB-C to USB adapter I had laying around
- Restarted, holding the mac Option key and chose the EFI boot loader from USB stick. eGPU/Razer Core X was connected to the top-left USB-C port on the MacBook.
- Downloaded latest Radeon drivers from AMD
- Did a clean uninstall of AMD drivers via DDU and restarted
- Not sure if this was really necessary, since my MacBook has an Intel iGPU, but did it anyway "just in case"
- Installed latest AMD drivers
- At this point I could see the Radeon 5700 XT card in Device manager but it had the dreaded error 12 status
- First I tried using all of the solutions to error 12 in this guide, that seemed to be somewhat relevant to my particular build, but none of them worked for me.
- I then proceeded to follow the DSDT override guide in attempt to resolve error 12
- First attempt was using pre-compiled DSDT override file Apple_2016_late-13in-Macbook-Pro-Touchbar_vertice-supplied.zip, which seemed to match my Macbook, and loading it using "Step 2 - OPTION 1" in the aforementioned guide via Windows test signing mode. This resulted in BSOD in Windows and I had to restore.
- Second attempt was generating my own DSDT override file following the guide above. As the guide described, I had multiple compiling errors that I had to manually resolve. I ended up comparing the lines that were erroring out in my file with the ones in precompiled library for a similar Macbook mentioned above and then copy+pasting what seemed to make sense. In the end I was able to get my own compiled DSDT.aml file. This time around, instead of using the Windows test signing mode approach, I simply loaded the DSDT.aml file into the \EFI\CLOVER\ACPI\Windows\ folder on the EFI boot loader USB stick (as recommended in several guides). This resulted in a successful booting of Windows with Large Memory entry being present in Device Manger. Unfortunately, the AMD card was still displaying error 12.
- I then attempted many different options described in the FAQ - I still have an error 12 section of the DSDT guide, without much success.
- Finally, I decided to try disconnecting all of the devices plugged into the Razer Core X (external monitor, USB mouse, keyboard, speakers, etc.), uninstalling the AMD card from Device Manager, doing another DDU uninstall of AMD drivers, restarting and doing a clean install of the card, which ended up working out and resolving error 12. It appears that in my case, having the extra devices plugged into the eGPU enclosure, while trying to install it prevented Windows from assigning the AMD card to the Large Memory correctly.
All benchmarks taken on external LG monitor.
Unigine Valley (Score 2678)
Unigine Valley (Score 3942)
Getting rid of error 12 was the worst and most time consuming part of the process. A lot of trial and error.
Also, the difference between Unigine scores in macOS vs Windows is somewhat deceiving. I ended up seeing a significant increase in performance in actual games, sometimes 3-4x faster in Windows, but that can vary from game to game.
My original intent was to not bother with a Windows install, hoping that a card like Radeon 5700 XT was going to be "good enough" from a performance perspective for older games, even in macOS. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Pretty basic games like CS:GO and Civ VI were getting pretty low FPS (15-30) in macOS, while using Max/Ultra settings. Some of this is due to the higher 3440x1440 resolution of the LG external monitor. But the performance in Windows ended up being significantly better, so I am glad I got it installed in the end.
@karant Welcome aboard and nice build! Regarding the low Unigine numbers it could be a number of factors. First of all which particular Thunderbolt 3 port did you connect the eGPU? Did you set the external monitor as primary display?
@itsage, thank you for the quick reply.
TB3 is connected to the top left port on MB Pro.
I do believe I have the external display set as primary - Systems Preferences > Displays > Arrangement where external monitor has the white menu bar on top of it, and laptop display does not.
@karant Using one of the left Thunderbolt 3 ports is good because you get full TB3 bandwidth instead of half on the right sided TB3 ports. I posted my PowerColor Red Devil RX 5700 XT build this morning which is very similar to yours. While I didn’t run any benchmarks in macOS, I’ve seen it much higher than what you got. Have you tried closing the laptop display so that everything is going the external monitor?
Well, a good old restart seems to have fixed the issue. 🙂
Here are the new results with score of 2678. Not 3000 score I was hoping for, but definitely closer to what other people are seeing.
What score are you getting under macOS? I see that your build screenshots only include Windows scores.
I am curious what kind of improvement I would see from the latest MacBook Pro with 2.8ghz quad-core 8th gen i7 processor...
We really need some pics of this set up... I’m looking for a new monitor atm and the specs of this one are impressive...
hey ! have u tried playing Fortnite on mac? I have nearly the exact same setup ( Macbook pro 2019) and when i Start Fortnite on macos i only get 15-25 fps.
I had the same issue under windows bootcamp ( error code 12) i will try fixing that with unplugging all devices later
I have run Fortnite on MacOS... it is not optimized for the architecture of Mac and will run poorly. I can, in barely passable settings, get 60-100 fps... it also lacks Freesync in the MacOS run, so you will not be happy at all.
In bootcamp on my 2019 MBP, I can get 300-400 fps (obviously totally unnecessary but fun) at 1080p with low settings (except distance, which I set to epic!) and 3d which is 100%.
On my MacMini, I only have the eGPU connected to the Tb3 to keep the card that runs it wide open (I use usb3 type A and a powered hub for everything else, seems to perform better). When I connect my 1080p gaming monitor, it is overkill... I can actually turn up the settings to use the remaining CPU power.
Will take pictures of my updated rig (sorry @itsage for not updating my build thread).
I have my hands on a Nitro+ 5700 XT which showed up last week. Due to projects though, I need my machine to not need a rebuild for now.